Joseph Bahout is a visiting scholar in the Carnegie Middle East program. While his main topic of research is the Levant, namely the politics of Lebanon and Syria, Bahout has been closely following events in Saudi Arabia in recent months, in particular the succession question in the kingdom, contributing a number of posts on the matter for Diwan. In mid-December, he was in Beirut for the annual conference of the Carnegie Middle East Center, and Diwan caught up with him to get his end-of-year view of developments in Saudi Arabia, in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and in U.S.-Saudi relations.